Samsung digs a pothole for Apple’s electric car plans

By buying up a car battery firm coveted by Apple, is Samsung throwing a spanner in Cupertino's works?

Samsung digs a pothole for Apple’s electric car plans

Recent rumours have strongly suggested that Apple is secretly working on an electric (and possibly self-driving) car. Exciting stuff – but Samsung may be determined to lay down some speedbumps for its biggest rival.

How, you ask? Well, the Korean giant has officially acquired the battery business of Magna Steyr – a company Apple was reportedly in talks with regarding its electric car. Magna Steyr is an Austrian company that assembles cars for the likes of Volkswagen, Audi, and Fiat.

Assault and battery

Samsung has snapped up Magna Steyr's other business, which designs and builds car parts in addition to battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. So as a result of this deal, Samsung SDI’s capabilities in batteries for electric vehicles will be enhanced.

This means only Magna Steyr’s battery pack business will be affected, instead of the manufacturing part of it – leading to the possibility that Apple could still work with the company.

Samsung’s acquisition throws up some interesting questions: is it just what we see at face value or could it lead to something bigger in the near future? Is Samsung plotting to build its own electric car now? (Insert "Samsung copies everything else Apple does, so why not?" joke here.) Samsung itself has recently highlighted research that the global market for electric vehicles, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, is forecast to reach 7.7 million units by 2020, as compared with 2.1 million in 2014.

So, we can’t say for sure if it’s eyeing the electric car space but with both Apple and Google dipping their toes in these waters, it’s a natural assumption that Samsung might follow suit too. 

[Source: Business Insider]